needed repairs, and also to learn what decision had been made relative to my communication of April 12, 1863. Captain Comstock informed me that he would select the person to superintend that business - (the delicate one of putting balloons in order.) He also informed me that the terms were indicated in his indorsement on my communication. I informed him that was not satisfactory, and inasmuch as I had given notice on the 12th of April that I could not serve on the terms he named, and as the battle was now over, I wished to be relieved, provided it was a suitable time; to which Captain Comstock replied that if I was going I could probably be spared better then than any other time. I received pay up to april 7 inclusive, and came to Washington.
On the 8th I received the following dispatch, which is an indication that General Hooker was not informed of the change that had been made in the aeronautic department.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
May 8, 1863.
General Hooker sent one of his aides over at 10 a. m. to tell you to have two balloons up, and to keep them up all the time. I informed the aide that you had left the Rant of the Potomac. Will you not write Hooker?
J. F. GIBSON.
I have endeavored in this report not only to furnish a complete account of my own operations in connection with the military service, but to present all the essential facts for the use of the historian of this war relative to the introduction, use, and results of aeronautic observations. I feel assured that whatever may be the estimate of my own services, it will redound to the honor and credit of President Lincoln and his Administration that they have availed themselves of every means to crush this rebellion which loyal minds could devise or loyal men be willing to execute.
The details I have presented all have their significance when taken in connection with other facts relative to the conduct of the war known to the military authorities; and I have on this account, as well as from the entire novelty of the history, not thought it advisable to condense or abridge this report to a greater extent.
In conclusion, I would briefly state a few of the most important matters which deserve consideratded to introduce my system of aeronautics into the service - only after satisfactory experiments and practical tests had proved its importance - and it has been continued in constant use for two years under various generals, which would not have been the case had not experience demonstrated its utility, and the truth of all I originally claimed for it.
Second. Without wishing to disparage others, I may safely claim that my improved balloons and apparatus, including the portable gas generator (which are entirely my invention), are the only ones which are found to be adapted to the wants of the army service, and that I have done more to perfect the system, and to render it efficient and reliable than all who have been engaged in teart since the experiments of Guy Lussac in 1784.
To gain this knowledge has cost me many years hard labor and nearly $30,000 in money, and for which the United States Government alone is daily reaping the benefits.